Justice museum almost ready after £1 million makeover

The National Justice Museum has undergone a �1 million refurbishment. Picture: Pamela Raith
The National Justice Museum has undergone a �1 million refurbishment. Picture: Pamela Raith

A Nottinghamshire attraction and landmark of historical importance is soon to complete a £1 million refurbishment.

Re-opening in early April, the former Galleries of Justice will now be known as the National Justice Museum.

The Nottingham site ill not only attract visitors from across the country, but become an educational resource of national importance.

The popular former courthouse and gaol, which houses the UK’s largest collection of more than 40,000 law, justice, crime, and punishment artefacts, will include new areas to display a wider selection of archive items, feature an increased number of interactive displays, a new crime gallery featuring free exhibitions plus even more family friendly activities thanks to its £1 million Heritage Lottery Fund support.

Tim Desmond, chief executive of the National Justice Museum, said: “This is much more than a new name and a fresh coat of paint.

“Yes, we’re incredibly excited about the changes to the museum in Nottingham which will attract different people to the city.

“But the broader educational remit really reflects the national significance of our archive as well as the exhibitions that inspire people of all ages to learn about justice.

“The positive impact of the improved Nottingham-base and its archive will be echoed through new education programmes held at the museum’s education facilities situated at the iconic Royal Courts of Justice in London and at legal and heritage sites across the north west.

“Reaching more than 20,000 children and young people across the country, the National Justice Museum will take on a much more powerful role, encouraging on-going learning and the recognition of the value of social justice, equality, and the law.”

Following its refurbishment, the museum will welcome journey to justice from April 1 to June 16.

The exhibition explores human rights movements and celebrates significant milestones and people throughout the history of social justice.

Mr Desmond continued: “The doors opening at the museum in April, and the new education programmes in London and Manchester, are just the start of the story.

“In addition to the beautiful new exhibition spaces giving due attention to key archive pieces, such as forensic evidence from the Great Train Robbery, we’ll be working with other national organisations such as the Tate London which is due to feature one of our star pieces like the cell door of Oscar Wilde.

“These partnerships, as well as the work we’ll be doing at our London and Manchester locations, reflects the truly national reach of the work that will originate from our Nottingham-base.

“Furthermore, the National Justice Museum is a charity.

“As we don’t receive any public subsidy, our priority must also always be sourcing ongoing support to ensure we can continue this vital education work in Nottingham and beyond.”

Jonathan Platt, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands, said: “This transformation of the Galleries of Justice Museum will allow a much wider audience to explore the fascinating history of law, justice, crime, and punishment, and will create a nationally important cultural destination for Nottingham.

“We are delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to support this project.”

In addition to the support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the transformation has also been made possible by support from WREN, Charles Hayward Foundation, Museum Development East Midlands, Big Lottery Fund: Awards for All, Arts Council England, Jones 1986 Charitable Trust, JN Derbyshire Charitable Trust, and the Forman Hardy Charitable Trust.

The museum will open at 10am on Saturday, April 1, for further updates, follow @JusticeMuseum on Twitter.